ADVOCACY 
  
YOUR VOICE COUNTS
 
December, 2014 

 
HOMELESS MEMORIAL SERVICE IN DECEMBER
 
Please watch this space for more information on our annual Memorial Service for homeless persons in our community who have died in the past year.  It is usually scheduled around Dec 21.  We have lost several members of our community and this is an opportunity to publically acknowledge their value in the community, recommit ourselves to ending homelessness, and lend support to those who remain behind. 
 
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION AT NSK&S
 
On Monday, December 15, 2014, at 5:30pm, NSK&S will be hosting "Community Conversations" sponsored by Citizens Alliance, Granite State Organizing Project, and other advocacy groups.  Bring your comments on the future of our NH community, especially for low-income persons who struggle with finding stable housing and other basics.  Please let Eileen Brady know you are planning to attend - Eileen@nsks.org / 603 889-7770. 
 
BENEFITS INCREASE PROPOSED 
 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the program that helps single parents with children with income, employment training, and social services support may increase its financing by 20% if this proposal makes it through the budget process in NH. 
 
This would mean that a parent with one child would see an increase of $47.60 a month and a parent with 2 children would see $61.40 more.  Since the current funding means that these families cannot afford ANY apartment in Nashua with their TANF grant only, this is a big improvement.  We see many of these families in our shelters, others are "doubled up" with family, friends, or in the worst case scenario, strangers. 
 
We hope that these long-awaited increases make it through the budget process and enable more children and their single parent to have stable homes.  Please contact your legislator (when elections determine who that will be) to support this change.
 
 
 
NOVEMBER VOTE
 
Find out the names of your newly or re-elected state representatives and senators and their contact information at http://www.nh.gov/ and ask their support for votes on funding homelessness programs and policies that increase wages and job opportunities in NH.  Thanks!
 
 

 
PLACE AT THE TABLE AVAILABLE FOR SHOWING/DISCUSSION
 
If anyone would like to host a showing of a film, A Place at the Table, which tells the powerful stories of 3 Americans experiencing hunger, please contact me, Eileen Brady, at Eileen@nsks.org or 603 889-7770.   
 
 
 
 
EMAIL LIST FOR QUICK ACTION:
 
If you would like to be on an email list for quick action on legislative issues, please send your email to eileen@nsks.org.  I promise there will not be an avalanche of posts! 
 
 
AFFORDABLE HOUSING 
STILL OUT OF REACH
 
Massachusetts has more people in shelters and motels than ever before at a great cost to the state, largely because of the unaffordability of apartments/houses for those in the bottom 30-40% of income.  As rents rise there, they rise in southern NH as well.

Unless the Federal budget begins to include more funds for various kinds of affordable housing, more cuts will need to happen in NH in programs set up to help those with the lowest incomes opportunities for stable places to live. Please contact your NH congressional delegation to support funds for subsidized homes.       
.
Medicaid Expansion Passes -20,000 signups So Far (Oct, 2014)
 
 
The NH Senate and House both passed expanded Medicaid, calling it the NH Health Protection program and acting in a bipartisan manner.
People we see at the soup kitchen benefit from this expansion.  Signups began July 1, 2014.
 
Thank your reps!
 
 
 
LOCAL CROP WALK COLLECTED $36,000+ SO FAR
 
Many thanks to all those who did the Crop Walk, which benefits NSK&S, among others.  It was on  Oct 26 - many local congregations participated-  would your group be interested in participating next year? Please contact me at Eileen@nsks.org, 889-7770.
 
  
 
 
  
 
HOW TO FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
 
To find out your reps, go to http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx .   
 
 

NSK&S on FACEBOOK

Become a friend of Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter and/or Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Advocacy Page on Facebook if you are on that social network, and encourage others to do so.  It is another way to bring the concerns of some of the people in Nashua who don't get heard in most networks to a broader audience.  Thanks!

SOME WEBSITES TO CHECK OUT

With much of federal legislation stalled or sidetracked, it is important to get the word out to our representatives in Congress that we are concerned about bills that affect homeless and hungry people in our neighborhood, a number that is growing daily due to job loss, increasing costs, and unexpected health care challenges.
Please check out the following websites to find issues and ways to support folks:
  http://www.npach.org/ - National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness
http://www.nhvoicesforhealth.org/ - Voices for Health - advocacy for health issues in NH
http://www.nhcitizensalliance.org/ - NH Citizens Alliance, advocating for a range of needs in NH

http://www.chn.org/ - Coalition for Human Needs

http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/
http://www.childrennh.org/ - NH Children's Alliance

http://www.nashua-coc.org/ - Nashua Continuum of Care, which oversees homeless programs in greater Nashua

http://www.nhcares.net/ - coalition of NH service providers that ensures care for those in need
 
 

 

 

 SOME WAYS TO BE INVOLVED

Contact our current congressional delegation to support issues important to eradicate homelessness and hunger, to promote safe, affordable housing and enough food for all. 


Email's are links to elected officals' web contact forms
Senator Kelly Ayotte
  Tel.: 202 224-3324    Email via:   http://Ayotte.Senate.gov/?p=contact
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
  Tel.: 202 224-2841   Email via: Shaheen.Senate.gov/contact/
Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster
 
Tel.: 202 225-5206  Email via:  http://kuster.house.gov/
 


ATTEND A MEETING OF THE NASHUA CONTINUUM OF CARE OR THE ENDING HOMELESSNESS COMMITTEE

The Ending Homelessness Committee welcomes citizen involvement - contact Eileen@NSKS.org for more information.  Come to one meeting or lots of meetings. 
The Continuum of Care meets on the first Wednesday of each month (except for July) at 8 am, usually at Nashua City Hall.  Usually there are 35-45 people representing agencies, businesses, faith communities, students, organizations, as well as present and/or formerly homeless people. The Ending Homelessness group meets at 9am, immediately following the Continuum of Care meeting